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10 Words Smart People Always Use (and 7 They Never Do)

10 Words Smart People Always Use (and 7 They Never Do)

The rights words can motivate, inspire, and even change lives. The right words can turn an otherwise meaningless conversation into an unforgettable moment for your audience. (And the wrong words can make you look dumb.) In short, words matter. The following is a guest post from Courtney Seiter, a content crafter at Buffer, a tool that makes social media sharing smarter and easier. (You can read her posts about social media, productivity, and marketing on the Buffer blog.) Here’s Courtney: Have you ever been in a meeting and felt the electricity in the room change based on a single word? Words are incredibly powerful: even a solitary one can win you over, put you out, set your boundaries, and change how others perceive you. With this kind of power, it’s in our best interest to try to understand the science and psychology of words. I went hunting for some of the top words and phrases that motivate people to be creative, work together, and build relationships. Here are 10 words and phrases that are extremely motivating–and later, seven words that definitely are not: 1. “If” — improves performance when describing a hypothetical positive. Here’s a universal truth. No one likes to be wrong, especially in front of other people. When you’re facing a lot of “I don’t knows” during a brainstorm or tough challenge, there’s a word that can alleviate the pressure of being wrong and open up a pathway of critical thinking: If. Tim David, author of Magic Words: The Science and Secrets Behind Seven Words That Motivate, Engage, and Influence, employs this magic word in a very specific sentence I plan...
5 ways to overcome growing pains in your startup without getting bogged down in process

5 ways to overcome growing pains in your startup without getting bogged down in process

Tech startups are often taught to “move fast and break things”. But as a business expands it will inevitably face growing pains. Chat ops app Slack has been on an incredible growth trajectory. In just two years it has hit 2.3 million daily active users (20% joined in the last two months), and over 675,000 of them are paid users. To support that growth, its headcount grew from 80 to 385 employees in 14 months. It’s an expansion rate that has CEO Stewart Butterfield worried. Especially with the number of cautionary tales floating around the Valley at the moment. Rapid growth without the infrastructure in place to deal with the impact on compliance, human resources and the financial sides of the organization, can break a company. Before leading Xero in the US, I was running my own media agency. There was a point in time where we transitioned from handling a dozen smaller accounts to several accounts worth more than our entire client list combined. We had to aggressively scale the infrastructure to deal with these bigger clients. This involved streamlining and automating where we could, adding headcount and implementing administrative processes so the higher expectations of these clients could be realistically met. Growing operational models and having to adapt to those changes in real time are not only growing pains, they’re death shots to an organization and if not handled correctly, they can actually sink you. No matter your business size, every company goes through these stages. These pressures usually rear up just when you find yourself in way over your head, needing to execute. One of the big differences is...
Xero:  Save time and money

Xero: Save time and money

Using Xero can save time and money, but why do people hesitate to make the switch? I have come to realize any changes that affect financial statements can be difficult.  I think Robin Sharma, put it quite beautifully when she said “Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle, and beautiful in the end”.  Xero is a beautifully built software.  People are comfortable with their current quasi accounting systems in which they recreate the entire set of financials on excel spreadsheets and then reconciling with bank statements.  They continue the chaos each month or quarter.  Well I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be crazy, chaotic or time consuming…Consider Xero and the benefits! As a small business owner there are 101 items on your todo list at any time.  Do you really think that you should spend your time trying to build up spreadsheets, create up to date financials, balancing the books, chase up invoices and ensure that all the bills are paid!  The answer should be “NO!”  You should be focusing on trying to run your business, and use an accounting software that does the rest for you.  Xero can do all of this for you.  The language in Xero is simple, it does speak in terms of “Debits” and “Credit” it’s really just “Money Coming In” and “Money Spent”.  The Dashboard is user friendly and easy to customize.  With Xero there is a monthly subscription, but it’s not an arm and a leg, and there are no upgrades or patches that you have to worry about. See how Xero has helped this small business.   At BlueFire Accounting, we understand your business...
Xero vs QuickBooks:

Xero vs QuickBooks:

What’s the best fit for your small business? Which cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting software is better? For more than a decade, accountng software for small businesses has been dominated by Quickbook. From the desktop version to the newer QuickBooks Online, Intuit has enjoyed a monopoly on the marketplace. But this is all changing. A New-Zealand-based online accounting software company, Xero has managed to grab more than 200,000 customers around the world. And people are taking notice. Credit Suisse Group, a leading global financial services company, recently dubbed Xero the “Apple of accounting.” So how do Xero & Quickbooks match-up? Similarities Between Xero & Quickbooks Quickbooks online and Xero have similar functionalities as they are both cloud-based accounting system. They both allow you to send invoices and receive electronic payments and they both allow users to attach files to their feeds and transactions. The Differences Xero excels is accessibility . The software allows for unlimited logins to any Xero file for no additional fee. QuickBooks Online charges to add on more users. Xero has been designed with role based security which offers over a dozen access levels. For example you can restrict a user’s access to financial report and still give them access to the bank register. In QuickBooks Online, this isn’t possible. Bank rules in Xero are a fantastic. They allows you to create rules for reoccurring transactions so you don’t have to reclassify them each month. With QuickBooks Online, you’re not able to create rules. Xero’s dashboard is beautiful . The dashboard provides a central place for all of our client files. It can be easily customized to capture...

Xero ranks highly in the TIN100 EY 10 Companies to Watch list

Last night I attended the TIN100 awards evening and was delighted to accept the EY ‘10 Companies to Watch’ award for Xero. The EY ‘Ten Companies to Watch’ list is made up of the highest dollar value growth companies in the TIN100. It celebrates how successful New Zealand companies are on the global stage. This year, after an exceptional record of growth, Xero moved up to third. We’re just after Fisher & Paykel Appliances and Datacom Group.  In 2014, Xero ranked fourth amongst New Zealand’s fastest growing hi-tech companies. New Zealand’s tech sector continues strong growth Companies must have achieved a minimum of 5 percent growth on the previous year to be considered for this award. Revenues for the EY ‘Ten Companies to Watch’ range from $1B to $14m. The total group growth was $378m (+12.5 percent). A second award, ASB Hot Emerging Companies, included Pushpay, Vend and Serko. Both lists demonstrate the fast growth and success of the New Zealand ICT sector. Xero has experienced exceptional growth over the past couple of years. In FY2015, operating revenue increased 77 percent to $123.9 million. Paying customers reached 475,000 at 31 March 2015, up 67 percent on the previous year. We now have more than 540,000 customer globally. As a result, Xero was recently ranked number one against international companies as Forbes Most Innovative Growth Company for the second year running. The TIN100 is compiled by the Technology Investment Network (TIN). It focuses on facilitating the growth of the technology sector in New Zealand. The TIN100 reports show the achievements of New Zealand’s globally-focused companies. Both emerging and long standing, across the hi-tech manufacturing, biotech and ICT sectors....

All the newness at Apple’s Hey Siri event

I’m writing this at 3am in Sydney, watching a live stream from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. This is where Apple is holding their Hey Siri special annual media event. Their usual timing of pre-holiday product releases. Am I crazy to get up at 3am to watch this live? The answer is obviously, yes. Yes I am. That aside, here’s a rundown of all the newness from Apple today. If you obsessively follow Apple rumors, there’s probably not too many surprises today, if you don’t, then a lot of new and shiny awaits! Apple Watch gets fashionable Apple Watch sees some new cosmetic updates. A collaboration with luxury fashion house Hermes, with three new leather straps, combined with a custom watch face. The Sport range has two new colors, gold, and rose gold anodized aluminium. If you can’t quite justify spending tens of thousands of dollars on the Edition version, these look pretty sharp.  (I’m personally super excited about the rose gold with white sport band!) There’s also a new season’s release of sport band colors. Who would have thought, Apple becoming a fashion house. watchOS 2 makes its debut While announced earlier in the year at WWDC, September 16th has been set as the release date for watchOS 2. At the initial launch of the Apple Watch, developers such as ourselves were given an SDK (Software Development Kit) with which to build apps. Unfortunately, the approach they took was super conservative, as Apple tend to be with new hardware and third party developers. I was skeptical of the offering, likening it to when the original iPhone...
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